Top construction industry stories from 2013
Silica proposal, crane operator standards in the news
Construction deaths rose even as overall occupational fatalities in the U.S. decreased. OSHA finally unveils its silica rule. OSHA inspectors kept busy at construction sites around the country. These were among the top construction-related stories featured on www.ISHN.com in 2013.
Company cited for lack of heat stress program
OSHA has cited Aldridge Electric Inc. for a serious safety violation after a 36-year-old worker died from heat stroke on his first day on the job at the company's Chicago job site. The company was installing electrical conduit in an uncovered trench on the Chicago Transit Authority's Dan Ryan Red Line project.
OSHA demolition standards violated
The fatal June, 2013 collapse of a four-story building in Philadelphia has resulted in OSHA violations against the contractors hired to demolish the building. Griffin Campbell, doing business as Campbell Construction, and Sean Benschop, doing business as S&R Contracting, were cited for three willful per-instance violations, following the incident, which killed six people and injured 14.
New bill would expand training requirements
Approximately 72 percent of the construction workers killed on the job in New York City died at sites where workers did not participate in state-approved training and apprenticeship programs, according to a report released today by Public Citizen.
Construction industry rate even higher
Workers in the United States were killed on the job at three times the rate of their peers in the United Kingdom in 2010, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
As economy improves, construction activity, fatalities are increasing
The New York City Council Committee on Economic Development today holds a hearing on bill 1169-2013, which would set worker training and transparency requirements for certain city development projects receiving city financial assistance.
Cave-in, crushing, electrocution among the hazards
OSHA has cited the general contractor and five subcontractors working on the construction of the Berlin Power Plant in Berlin for 31 willful, serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards.
Crews working in “high gear” to meet deadline
A truck driver crushed by a bundle of rebar on Monday was the second worker killed at the construction site for the new San Francisco 49ers stadium. Sports Illustrated (SI) is reporting that 60-year-old Edward Erving Lake II, was severely injured by the rebar, which was being unloaded from his truck.
Several provisions in rule "unnecessary" for worker protection
A coalition of construction industry trade associations is concerned that OSHA’s proposed reduction in silica exposure levels may cost construction firms a lot of money.
RI company faces $56,000 in fines
OSHA inspectors who were traveling to a scheduled inspection drove past the trench worksite of a different company and saw no trench box in use. They also noticed that traffic along the road caused loose debris to fall from the trench's wall.
Study: About $11,000 per dispute
A Michigan State University researcher has quantified something rarely measured in studies about productivity in the construction industry: the cost of arguments.
Even as overall work fatalities decline
After five consecutive years of decreases, construction deaths rose five percent last year, propelling the construction industry into the top spot in terms of work-related fatalities per industry in 2012.
Asphalt industry says it’s ready, Chamber of Commerce not so sure
Reactions to OSHA’s proposed rule to protect workers from exposure to crystalline silica have come swiftly from the EHS community, along with the industry and business sectors.
Agency says it will save 700 lives a year
OSHA took industry and EHS professionals by surprise late Friday by announcing what some call a long-overdue proposed rule to lower worker exposure to crystalline silica – a substance that causes cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in those who are exposed to it.
Names of fatalities a reminder of the human cost of dangerous driving
As it has since 2002, the Illinois State Fair this year hosted a somber reminder of a transportation hazard: a wall memorializing the names of those killed in highway work zones.
Hospital who hired company cited, too
OSHA has cited the University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital and DGA Builders LLC, both of Rochester, for 14 serious violations of workplace safety and health standards, chiefly involving asbestos. The companies face a combined total of $53,200 in proposed fines, following an inspection.
I'd get fired if I take action - but I'll be held responsible if injuries occur
Since you dealt with problems before here I have a good one for you. I just got hired last week as a Construction Superintendent. I have OSHA training and other safety training. I am 67 years old and was out of work for over 3 yrs.
Potential unsafe practices reported to city weeks before fatal collapse
In the wake of a building collapse that killed six people and injured 13 others, Philadelphia has moved swiftly to tighten regulations on contractors who work on demolitions.
NIOSH guide focuses on material handling hazards
Young and less experienced home building workers are the intended audience for a new publication from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which is intended to help them avoid injuries.
Roadway incidents accounted for 1,000+ cases in 2011
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data last week showing that the final count of fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2011 was 4,693 -- the third lowest annual total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992.
Standard requires operators to be certified by November 2014
Stakeholders who are interested in contributing their opinions to OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard are invited to a meeting on April 3, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C. (Two meetings already scheduled for April 2 and 3 are full.)
Shivering but alive after four hours in “muck”
A New York City construction worker was rescued from an underground trench at subway construction projection early this morning, after being stuck in “muck” from the waist down for nearly four hours. The worker became trapped at 8:30 p.m. last night 75 feet below ground at the Second Avenue subway line site in Manhattan.
Higher rates among younger, Hispanic workers
A new NIOSH-funded study on fatalities in the construction industry suggests roofers in residential construction are among those most likely to die in falls from roofs. The study, "Fatal falls from roofs among U.S. construction workers," finds that "the odds of fatal falls from roofs were higher for roofing and residential construction than any other construction sector."
Don’t wait for a new standard
By Dave Johnson
At least 1.7 million U.S. workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in industries and occupations including construction, sandblasting, and mining, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.